SUNDBERG, MARSHALL D. Department of Biological Sciences, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS 66801. - Using student-active investigations to overcome student misconceptions about evolution and natural selection.
Most students come to biology with several naive but well-entrenched
misconceptions about evolution. Among these are ideas about population
growth, variation within populations, competition, heritability, and
particularly natural selection. Over the last decade we have employed
a number of different teaching strategies including cooperative
learning, integration of lecture/laboratory, use of
"readings" vs textbook, and investigative laboratories in an
attempt to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of
evolutionary concepts. All but integration of lecture/laboratory have
been applied in both large lecture classes with multiple laboratory
sections and smaller classes with a single laboratory. Data will be
presented from majors', non-majors', and mixed-majors' courses.
Student-active investigations integrating lecture and laboratory
activities were the single most effective factor in promoting richer
understanding of evolutionary concepts, but Lamarkian ideas about
natural selection remain nearly intractable.
Key words: evolution, laboratory, misconceptions, student-active